diary of a Mama, Fashionista, & Foodie

Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Holiday Gift Giving Guide
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As I mentioned in another post, I’m really starting to feel the pressure to get my Christmas shopping done.  My family was all together for Thanksgiving, so we’ve decided to do our holiday gift exchange then, however with Christmas fast approaching, I am trying to finish the remaining people on my list.  While celebrating Christmas when everyone is together at Thanksgiving is an awesome idea, it also meant that I lost about 3-4 weeks for Christmas shopping and I have to be extra organized.  I will share some of my tips and tricks to finding just the right gift for everyone on my list.

Sample Christmas List
Sample Christmas List

First, it’s a good idea to set a budget of what you are looking to spend on Christmas gifts for the year just to keep things on track, if that’s too hard, then at least set a budget for each person on your list.  I try to keep all of my Christmas shopping on one credit card so that I have a running total of where I’m at.  Then, I start by making my Christmas list of everyone I need to get a gift for.  I start with our LB, my husband, my parents, and parent in-laws. Then I move on to siblings and husband’s siblings, nieces and nephews, godchildren, family gift exchanges, co-workers, friends, etc. As I’m going along, I have to decide who I need to get gifts for and leave lots of extra room to write down ideas.

After I get my list made, I go back and consult Pinterest and digital notepad on my phone to see what gift ideas I’ve collected throughout the year and if any of these ideas apply to people on my list or if they are still relevant.  I use several apps to keep track of gift ideas through the year.  I have 2 different note pad apps on my phone as well as Pinterest.  Before I start my list making, I check each of these apps to see what I have written down.  Then, I brainstorm conversations I have had over the year with the people on my list to see if there are any projects or hobbies that they’ve been working on that might inspire a gift.

When my in-laws were visiting last summer, I caught each of them taking notice of an Ansel Adams book I had sitting on my piano.  This simple gesture inspired me to get a book of his amazing photography for each of my husband’s siblings’ families for Christmas.  Since we typically don’t do gifts for each person individually, I thought it was a gift that both the adults and kids (as they get older) can enjoy.  Each year, I usually stumble upon a gift that more than one person on my list would enjoy (such as a book or cooking gadget) and that makes it much easier to get my shopping done in a timely manner.  I don’t ever feel bad about repeating a gift for more than one person, especially if it’s something that they will enjoy, or if I will be mailing it to them.

For my husband, I keep notes of tools that he wishes he had through the year and I use Christmas as a time to get him one or multiple tools (depending on how big they are).  For example, I’ve gotten him a router for woodworking and a pneumatic finishing nailer in past years and he was over the moon about them.  If you’re into fashion and know an individual’s style and size, clothes can be a great gift.  I really enjoy buying clothes for my brothers, my mom, and husband and since my success rate is pretty good so far, I continue to do so.  If however, clothes are not your thing, then I recommend steering clear of gifts of clothes.  They are a hard thing to get because people have such different styles and getting the fit right is a challenge.  With my brothers, I know their favorite stores, brands and the way they like their clothes to fit, so I feel pretty comfortable buying them clothes.

Gift Ideas
Gift Ideas

When it comes to gift exchanges or other people’s kids, it’s a challenge to find something that “they probably don’t already have” or they “actually like”.  For kids, I think a magazine subscription is a good idea.  For our nieces and nephews, I like the Highlights magazines or National Geographic kids magazine.  These were actually magazines that we received as gifts when we were kids and I loved them!  Plus, there are so many “subscription” type gifts now, such as Little Passports where kids can receive things monthly by mail.  It is a Christmas gift that they will enjoy all year round!  For adult gift exchanges, I try to find something that someone can use…whether it’s pampering items (soaps, lotion, facial mask, fingernail polishes, etc.) for her or food and beverages (liquor, snacks, fine chocolates, charcuterie items, BBQ sauces, spices, etc.) for a gender neutral gift.  If it’s something they can eat/drink, it doesn’t matter if they already have it, they can enjoy it still.  If you know the individual person who will be receiving your gift, then you can look for something a little more specific as well.

LB's Christmas List
LB’s Christmas List

Another gift that I am loving this year is the donation gift.  For me, specifically, I love St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Heifer Project International. They are two wonderful charities that help SO many people and making a donation in someone’s name is one of the most heart-warming, satisfying things that can be done.  It’s another reminder that this time of year is about so much more than commercialized products, but about giving and sharing love.

So with that being said, I have only one little person on my list that I need a gift for, and {LB’s nap-} time is running out, so I’ve posted our Christmas List photo just for fun!  I hope these tips and suggestions can help you with your holiday shopping and that y’all are enjoying this special time of year.

Xoxo!

 

(I am not being sponsored or compensated for any of the ideas in this post – just sharing my personal ideas for the sake of sharing!)

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